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The 5 Steps to Mastery: #6

Have You Mastered It Yet?

Kayaker demonstrates mastery down a waterfall
What are the different steps to mastery? How do you become a Master?

Each step requires your time and energy, which is good news. Your efforts are not wasted - nature wastes nothing - they all increase your inner power. But experience is key, you develop wisdom as and when you learn how to overcome the mistakes that inevitably accompany extensive, genuine

The world has plenty of wannabes, people with enormous egos who like being called master or guru without bothering to put in the hard yards necessary. They want to be at the last stage,
mastery, although they lack the wisdom gained in the previous one! Smooth talkers can sound extremely good, so check if they deliver on their promises? Do they walk their talk? Do their words have the ring of truth?

Pretenders assume they know as soon as they understand, but understanding is only a start, authentic knowing -
wisdom - needs lots more. The word ASSUME is actually an acronym: to make an ASS out of yoU and ME!

Willingness is Essential

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The changes to make to reach each new stage require willingness. A major secret of success is to be willing to fail, to make mistakes as you get your own experience. Experience is internal, it can't be inherited or passed on. You can't learn to swim at a seminar, you need to get in the water yourself.

Without willingness, you stay the same. This is obvious with physical exercise, but it's equally true internally. Inner progress - becoming wiser - needs you to improve your thoughts, learn new distinctions, get your own experience, and to become more aware of each step to mastery. As the old adage says:

To grow is to progress is to change

The Five Steps to Mastery

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The five steps to mastery and the secrets of success in moving to each next level are:

  1. Ignorance. You start out knowing nothing about the subject. To move from ignorance to the next step - informed about it - you need to be willing to listen or read.

  2. Informed about. You've listened to the information so you know about it but since you don't yet understand it, it may look wrong. To move to the next step - understanding - you need to be willing to think about what seems wrong, to mentally investigate it.

  3. Understanding. You've thought about it, but only investigated it mentally so far. To move to the penultimate step - authentic knowing - you need to get out and do it yourself, to gain your own experience.

  4. Authentic knowing. Plenty of your own experience gives you authentic knowing. But this is not mastery, although enough experience does give you wisdom. So how do you get to the fifth and final step - Mastery?

  5. Mastery. Once you have the wisdom of experience, you teach others, the final step. Once you've taught enough people, you know it from all angles when you've had to explain it from all angles. Then you've become a Master.

Reaching the Next Stage

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- Listen. Without being willing to listen to the information, hearing someone out, you remain ignorant. To move out of ignorance, you need to become informed about what they have to say.

- Investigate. You're informed about what they say when you've read or listened. But until you understand their information and its implications, self sabotage will tempt you to dismiss anything that appears wrong. So investigation is crucial to breakthrough to understanding. Your willingness pays off, and your mind stops complaining it's wrong.

- Experience. But understanding is not authentic knowing. Unaware people
self sabotage here, they get stuck at understanding which they mistakenly confuse with genuine knowing. But no matter how experienced your teacher is, experience is personal. You cannot inherit or be given wisdom, you only get authentic knowing by getting your own experience.

- Teach. To become a Master, authentic knowing just from your own perspective is not enough. You need to know it from all angles. You
change your life by teaching others, by explaining from their different viewpoints. When you appreciate it from everyone's perspective, then you've completed the last step to mastery, you're a Master!

Food for Thought

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"The one exclusive sign of thorough knowledge is
the power of teaching."

- Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE), Greek philosopher, logician, teacher of Alexander the Great.

The original version of this article was published at
© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so share this widely!
> There are more to enjoy in this series:
The articles explaining the 5 Steps to Mastery are:

  1. Ignorance. Are they even listening?

  2. Informed about. They only know about it

  3. Understand. Do you really understand?

  4. Experience gives you authentic knowing

  5. Teach. A master knows it from all angles

  6. Summary. Have you mastered it yet?

  7. Caution - pretenders. They may pretend to be a master, but are they?
> Enjoy the wisdom of different perspectives in other series of articles:
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